Arthur T. Merrick provides this charming image from the Dec. 2nd, 1899 issue of Life Magazine. Merry Christmas to all, and I hope Santa makes it on time!
Wednesday, 22 December 2021
Wednesday, 8 December 2021
The Rankin/Bass Holiday Special Cinematic Universe
Wednesday, 24 November 2021
Richard Vincent Culter's "The Gay Nineties"
Yet it was also the decade of the 1893 World's Columbian Exhibition and significant technological advancements. Electricity replaced gas lighting, the automobile became more common and more affordable, Ragtime and Vaudeville grew in popularity, and film became a thing. When the children of the 1890's came of age in the post-World War One milieu, they looked back with nostalgia on their younger years (as each generation is given to).
Then along came Richard Vincent Cutler, who began a series of nostalgic cartoons in Charles Dana Gibson's Life Magazine in 1925. In 1927, the cartoons were collected in a single volume titled The Gay Nineties, An Album of Reminiscent Drawings. Cutler is largely credited with having originated the term "Gay Nineties" as a label not for the decade itself but for that fond, nostalgic reminiscence for it. The following are a selection of The Gay Nineties cartoons from the pages of Life. Click on each image for a larger, more legible, version.
Wednesday, 27 October 2021
The Haunted House by Segundo de Chomón
Wednesday, 13 October 2021
The Tables Turned by E.E. Kellett
Written by E.E. Kellett, The Tables Turned appeared in the January 1903 edition of Pearson's Magazine. Click on the page for a larger version.
Wednesday, 29 September 2021
Life Magazine's "In 1950"
The Spanish-American War was short-lived, lasting from April to August of 1898 and ending with the Treaty of Paris in which Spain's Pacific holdings were transferred to the United States' growing sphere of oceanic influence. This included the Philippines, which naturally didn't sit well with Filipinos. The very next year, a guerilla war began that lasted longer than the actual Spanish-American War. The Philippine-American War lasted from 1899 to 1902 and claimed the lives of at least 200,000 Filipino civilians with high estimates up to a million. Among Filipinos, this was considered simply the next stage of the Philippine Revolution against the Spanish that began in 1896. Unfortunately it ended in a loss for the freedom fighters and, in a sense, for the esteem of the United States.
This war was not without its critics at home. Chief among them was the original Life Magazine. Starting publication in 1883 and lasted to 1935 as an illustration-heavy magazine of light humour and social commentary. The magazine's style, carried over from the "Gay Nineties," was not well received in the post-Great War milieu and it was bought out by publisher Henry Luce in 1936. Luce transformed Life into the all-photographic newsmagazine with which latter generations are more familiar.
The following illustration, by C.H. Ebert, comes from the July 26, 1900 issue of Life. Titled "In 1950," it is a retro-futurist commentary on the protracted nature of the Philippine guerilla war:
Wednesday, 15 September 2021
Strange Ships that Sail in the Skies
The following article ran down the wire of several newspapers on Sunday, May 9, 1897, including the Saint Paul Globe, Buffalo Times, and the Sunday News of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. In it, many a prognostication is made of what ways in which man might take to the air. Suffice it to say that few such ideas took hold.
Click on the image, and right click again, for a larger, more readable version.
And here are some close-ups of the various flying machines (including one that worked its way into the weblog logo!).
Wednesday, 18 August 2021
Gaston Velle's A Little Jules Verne
Wednesday, 4 August 2021
St. Louis in 2010
Wednesday, 21 July 2021
The Grand Canyon's Lost Civilization
EXPLORATIONS IN GRAND CANYONMysteries of Immense High Cavern Being Brought to LightJORDAN IS ENTHUSEDRemarkable Finds Indicate Ancient People Migrated From Orient
Wednesday, 7 July 2021
Im Jahre 2000 mit Stollwerck Chocolade
Retro-futuristic cards were a popular inclusion for chocolates in Europe. The following set was produced by Stollwerck Chocolade, a German chocolatier founded in 1839. Of course, for as popular as retro-futuristic topics were, they were a drop in the bucket of the overall production of these advertising collectables. Stollwerck produced some 5,000 different six-card sets.
Wednesday, 23 June 2021
John Hale's Flying Machine by Anna Leach
Click on each page for a larger version.
Wednesday, 9 June 2021
Walter R. Booth's The Over-Incubated Baby
Wednesday, 26 May 2021
Life Magazine's Glimpses into the Future
Wednesday, 12 May 2021
The Tricycle of the Future by Frank R. Stockton
The following is the complete Tricycle of the Future as it appeared in the May 1885 volume of St. Nicholas Magazine. Click on each page for a larger version.
Wednesday, 28 April 2021
La Folie du Docteur Tube
Saturday, 17 April 2021
Announcing "Science Fiction of the Gay Nineties: An Anthology - 1890-1910"
The latest in my series of Victorian-Edwardian Scientific Romances has been released!
To the generation that came of age during the horrors of the World Wars, the Turn of the Century took on a nostalgic life of its own.
Strolling ladies with bustles, parasols, and feathered hats. Men in dapper suits, straw boaters, and handlebar moustaches. Barbershop quartets singing “Sweet Adeline” and “In the Good Old Summertime.” Penny-farthing bicycles weaving between horse-drawn trolleys and newfangled horseless carriages. Thomas Edison’s latest invention. The town marching band playing in the park bandstand. Colourful Queen Anne homes accented with gingerbread trim. Gibson Girls staring indolently from the pages of Life and Harper’s. Casey at the bat. Ice wagons and ice boxes and ice cream parlours. Dime novels and dime stores. Vaudeville shows. Ragtime music. Silent movies. Party-line telephones. Suffragettes in green and purple sashes. Old fashioned rowboat dates. Gaslit evenings on Main Street. These happy days of youth before The Great War, The Spanish Flu, The Roaring Twenties, and The Great Depression were the “Gay Nineties.”
The real 1890’s and 1900’s were an era of change and a cornucopia of invention, which lead inevitably to fictional tales of scientific discovery and technological progress in the popular magazines of the era. This volume reprints the lost science fiction of Pearson’s, The Century, The Black Cat, and Cosmopolitan, featuring over a dozen tales by such celebrated authors as Mark Twain, Ellis Parker Butler, Herbert Quick, and George Chetwyn Griffith.
To order Science Fiction of the Gay Nineties: An Anthology - 1890-1910, visit Amazon or click on the image above. If you can also share this post or the link on your social networks, leave a review on Amazon, and rate Science Fiction of the Gay Nineties, that would go a long way to helping spread the word!
Thank you very much for you support of this blog for all these years and for your purchase of my new anthology.
Wednesday, 14 April 2021
A Telepathic Wooing by James Buckham
Saturday, 3 April 2021
The Jungle Book on the Silver Screen
Wednesday, 31 March 2021
Segundo de Chomón's Excursion dans la Lune
Copyright law comes and goes in waves. "Information wants to be free" say many as they illegally upload movies to shadowy servers. International trade seeks ever more uniform and pro-corporate regulations, while media companies simultaneously seek ever more restrictive censorship of individuals, together posing what may be the greatest threats to freedom of speech and information since the rise of Communism. A century ago, the rules were much looser, with their attendant benefits and challenges. Georges Méliès was, sadly, one of the ones who lost the most from those challenges.
Like numerous remakes throughout cinema history, Excursion dans la Lune (English: An Excursion to the Moon) is serviceable. All the pieces are in the right place and, in many places, it is even more refined than the original. Knowing where all the pieces go and understanding why they go there are two different things, however. An Excursion to the Moon lacks the fanciful sensibilities of Méliès, the wry blurred line between the astronomer and the astrologer, the joviality of the etheric spheres in a romantic cosmos. Though de Chomón's star rose just as Méliès' declined, posterity has been more kind to the latter than to the former. Méliès has - rightly - been canonized that the true innovator and artiste. It takes de Chomón's own films, original in content, to showcase his own abilities and separate his legacy from that of his competitor.
Wednesday, 17 March 2021
By the Water with James Tissot
|Ball on Shipboard (1874)|
Wednesday, 3 March 2021
John Jacob Astor's A Journey in Other Worlds
Wednesday, 3 February 2021
Scientific Romances of the Seventies
Wednesday, 20 January 2021
Jolly Top Hat
Wednesday, 6 January 2021
The Great Unknown by Clement Melville Keys
|The North-West Passage by John Everett Millais (1874)|